The Dallas Stars have had quite the postseason journey so far. They seemed to have picked up where they left off in March and put together a nine-game losing streak before they pulled out a big come-from-behind win against the St. Louis Blues in their final round-robin game.
But with the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference in hand, they’ll enter the first round with the wind at their backs.
That’s the idea, anyway. Mike Heika talked with some of the Stars’ key players and personnel to find out if they feel as confident as we think:
“This game kind of re-established our game and got us back to an understanding of what it takes,” said forward Joe Pavelski, who tied the game with 31.4 seconds remaining and the extra attacker on the ice. “Relief? No. Confidence a little bit, and we’ll keep moving forward.”
They get that chance pretty quickly. With the NHL operating in bubbles because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the playoff schedule will also be unique. The Stars and Flames play Tuesday Thursday and Friday. That’s a pretty frenetic pace for a team that has been slogging so far, but it might be just what Dallas needs.
While we can’t forget that the Stars’ regular-season record against the Calgary Flames wasn’t exactly, well, stellar...it may not pay to read too much into it, either:
The Stars were 1-1-1 against the Flames this season, with all three games played before Christmas. Both Dallas and Calgary changed coaches in the middle of the season, so past film might only show so much. The Flames beat Winnipeg in the play-in round, and looked good doing it.
“They’re playing very, very well right now,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said. “They’re getting the goaltending, they’re getting timely goals. They played Winnipeg, a team that was beat up, obviously with some key injuries, but they’re a very confident team right now and they’ve got some very dangerous players, and they’ve got some elite defensemen back there that play big minutes. We know we have a very, very tough opponent coming into this. We have a ton of respect for that team. We’ll be ready for them.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Don’t forget to set a reminder, as if you need one.
Our first round broadcast schedule is set— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 10, 2020
Catch Game 1️⃣ on @FOXSportsSW Plus and @dfwticket https://t.co/RFLo0nraZ7
And I fully expect to see each of you waving your phone in the air like you’re in the AAC.
You didn't think we'd forget the rally towels this year, did you?— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 11, 2020
Bringing a little home-ice advantage to your phone pic.twitter.com/sGOdpC3uJZ
I’m sure DBD’ers already have a full kit of “rhymes with Tkachuk” comments at the ready.
Previewing the Stars-Flames series with @ByCruickshank. Storylines to watch, villains to watch, and predictions for how it all turns out https://t.co/QtHYjHoLDn— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) August 11, 2020
Around The League(s)
It was oh so quiet in the NHL last night, so let’s get to the news:
The Flames are feeling some confidence of their own as they prepare for battle.
Milan Lucic is the poster child for the collective mood and mindset of the Flames as they prepare to clash with Dallas in the first round of the #StanleyCup playoffs https://t.co/mXM10CUP5N— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) August 11, 2020
It’s official – the New York Rangers got the golden ticket in the Alexis Lafrenière sweepstakes.
The moment the @NYRangers found out they will be selecting 1st overall in the 2020 #NHLDraft! #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/B4lF14lpcP— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 10, 2020
And yet it looks as if Gary Bettman scored an even more resounding win with the NHL Draft Lottery format.
Regardless of how you feel about the teams in tonight’s draft lottery, it should be dramatic — and quick. No turning over of cards or a countdown. Eight ping pong balls with team logos. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Machine spits out one live. Winner winner, chicken dinner.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) August 10, 2020
Let’s face it, there are far worse places to start your NHL career than on Broadway anyhow.
Is it ever the wrong time to announce that you’re bringing back an old sweater as your new sweater? For the Buffalo Sabres, the answer is no. No, it is not.
Lovin' the new look— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) August 11, 2020
See more photos: https://t.co/8NSC5AfGRe pic.twitter.com/6Lcu49IESh
It’s time. Go Stars.
Wake up, y’all! It’s ! pic.twitter.com/cN54dcCMeO— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 11, 2020